There is nothing quite like cracking open a brand-new book; the feel of the pages, the smell of the paper, and of course, the captivating characters and spellbinding storylines. A visit to your local bookstore can open your child’s eyes to the wonderful world of books and help instill a lifelong love of reading. Click through the gallery to see our favorite local bookstores that love kids and put a premium on pint-sized readers.

Island Books

In the heart of Mercer Island’s business district, you’ll find the island’s only independent bookstore, serving the community for over 40 years. The quaint store focuses on really knowing its customers and if you frequent the store, they are sure to know you and the kind of books you and your kids love to read. Everything inside the store is hand-selected with care, including cards, gifts, games, toys, locally-made chocolates and books for every reader. Island Books emphasizes family and has an enchanting children’s section, complete with its own playhouse. Stop by for one of their weekly Storybook Corners or a special monthly pajama story time. Island Books is the hub of the community and hosts many events, including monthly book clubs, author events and more.

Bonus: Before or after your visit, hit one of the great little eateries nearby. Fuel hungry bookworms with a sandwich at Homegrown or a bagel at Einstein Bros.

3014 78th Ave. S.E.
Mercer Island, Wa 98040

Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun.,10 a.m.-5 p.m.

photo: Island Books Facebook page

Does your family have a favorite neighborhood book store? Tell us what makes it so special in the comments below.

— Abbey McGee